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“Second visit as perfect as the first”

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The Kahala Hotel & Resort
Ranked #6 of 84 Hotels in Honolulu
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 26, 2013

The knock on staying on Oahu versus Maui is the "touristy" feel of the Honolulu area. I agree that Waikiki is way too touristy to be there all of the time. In fact, if I had to stay in Waikiki, I would not enjoy Oahu at all.

Thankfully, The Kahala solves the problem. It is located in a high-end, residential neighborhood and when you are at The Kahala, you do not know there's anyone else in the world. It is private, safe, and has everything you need right there. Yet, you can be in the center of Waikiki or Honolulu in 10 minutes to enjoy the very nice restaurants and shopping in those areas.

The Kahala is 50 years old so it's not like staying at a place like Aria in Las Vegas. To follow the Vegas analogy, though, it's very much like staying at Paris in Las Vegas. It's clean and it's quaint. It reminds me of what the resort from the original Dirty Dancing movie is like, but the beach version, in that it's the kind of place that you want to go back to over and over again because it feels like "home".

Expect to see a wedding on the grounds everyday you are there, because it really happens. Apparently, it's a big wedding destination for Japan. The dolphins and fish are beautiful and add to the flavor of the place. The staff calls you by name, and the views can't be beat.

The beach is so peaceful because there is a reef about 50 yards out that stops the waves from breaking on the beach. You can see the waves, but the water in front of you is as still as a pond.

Don't leave this place without renting a cabana and getting the chance to raise your flag. You will have a cold beverage in your hand in your cabana 5 minutes later. Seriously, this alone is worth the price of admission.

In summary, my wife and I love this place and wish we could just live there. Because of The Kahala, we love Oahu, and have be all over that island as a result. Don't be mislead into thinking all of the beauty of Hawaii is on the other islands. There's not a more scenic place in the world than Makapuu Park on the southeast coast or Ke'ena Park on the northwest coast, and I could sit on the North Shore and watch the waves forever.

If I were smart, I would give The Kahala an awful review so that demand does not drive up its prices, but if you have a chance to go to Hawaii and stay at The Kahala, you will never forget it.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank VTEsq
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded March 1, 2013

I was so pleased to read your wonderful feedback, and thank you for staying with us again on your recent trip to Honolulu. Your praise of our quiet, secluded location and peaceful beach, the exceptional service provided by our employees, and our popular guest activites is greatly appreciated. We always try to ensure a comfortable and memorable resort experience for our guests. My staff and I are looking forward to being of service to you again on many future occasions. Aloha and best wishes.

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Reviewed February 25, 2013

Location of The Kahala is wonderful: in less than 10 minutes driving on Diamond Head Road, you can be at Waikiki, yet the hotel grounds are quiet and peaceful: best of both worlds. Within the hotel grounds the beach is also beautiful, and the pool is not huge but very comfortable for the crowd: we never felt it was too packed for an entire week. The service is great: they always address you by name when you call the front desk. The breakfast buffet was excellent and for our package included for up to two adults per room. Wifi was free. We did not do the Dolphin Quest swim, but we saw the dolphins playing plenty of times just standing on the fence of the pool. Hoku's restaurant was excellent.

Things to be aware of: the beach has no waves, since it is a tide pool (as is much of Waikiki) and the outer barrier blocks the waves coming in. Nice for swimming, but not if you're looking for body surfing. (The beach park right next door might not be a tide pool.) Also, if you have a car, it is almost required that you valet park it. I think there is self parking option but the cost per day is about the same. There is no street parking as the resort is surrounded by a private golf course and private club.

We had a very nice stay and would definitely consider going back again.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled with family
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Thank jhandeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to send your comments following your recent stay at our resort. I was delighted to see how much you enjoyed our secluded location along with your package benefits such as complimentary buffet breakfast for two each day. You are correct that the waves fronting our hotel are calm, and measures have been taken over the years to ensure that we provide a relaxing ocean experience for our guests and their children. Should you wish to surf, our concierge desk will be happy to book lessons for you on your next visit. Thank you again for sending your feedback regarding our resort, and we all look forward to being of service to you again sometime soon. Aloha and best wishes.

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Reviewed February 25, 2013

What a wonderful hotel!

We took our teenagers to the Kahala for the first leg of a Hawaii trip. We hadn't been there before, but we had heard great things about it. We were not disappointed. Every aspect of our stay was spectacular. Check in was quick and easy. The rooms (we had adjoining suites) were wonderful. Spectacular service. Great food. Nice beach. The hotel was at capacity, but we never waited for anything.

There are not enough superlatives to describe this property. It is not inexpensive, but as Hawaii hotels go, you get a decent bang for your buck.

One thing we had to adjust to was hanging out with the celebrities. "Hey look . . . there's Matt Damon!" Doesn't happen to us very often in Kansas.

  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled with family
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Thank leawoodbeachguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

I was happy to read all of your positive comments regarding your stay at our resort. It is wonderful to be reminded that our employees provide excellent service and you were more than satisfied with your adjoining rooms. We look forward to welcoming you and your family back to our corner in paradise the next time you visit Honolulu. Thank you so much for sending your feedback.
Aloha and best wishes.

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Reviewed February 24, 2013

A hotel unlike any other. Upon arrival was treated like royalty. Wonderful staff--very attentive. Food was out of this world. Best sushi ever! Mango chutney a must on anything but particularly the burger! Hammocks outside were so relaxing and the pools, watching the dolphins were amazing! The rooms overlook the ocean and sleeping with the balcony doors open was like heaven. An absolute must stay when on Honolulu! Romantic sunrise--simply outstanding!

Room Tip: Overlooking the dolphin lagoon was perfect for dolphin watching and sunrise
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Carrie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for sending your wonderful comments following your stay with us. My staff is very experienced in treating our guests like royalty, and I am delighted that their services exceeded your expectations. It was no surprise how much you enjoyed your room in the dolphin lagoon wing along with the food in our restaurants. I was pleased to see how much you liked the mango chutney. It was a pleasure having you with us, and we are looking forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit our beautiful island. Aloha and best regards.

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Reviewed February 23, 2013

Our first time to Hawaii. Lovely setting, staff and facilities. Interesting to people watch the families, frequent onsite weddings and other guests. Obviously a popular Japanese destination.
Families with children are not intrusive. Breakfast buffet overlooking ocean is great start to the day. Easy access with car to sights of Honolulu and Oahu while avoiding the overdense Waikiki experience for those over 30. Management should give some thought to line up for table for breakfast and the pleasant but disorganized servers on the evening Veranda.
Philosophically, I think Kahala should get out of aquarium and dolphin business. Would we recommend Kahala to others ? Yes - an upscale resort you will enjoy.

  • Stayed: February 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank t79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for sharing your recent experience at our resort. I was delighted to see that you had a good time and enjoyed our guest services and facilities. Families are always welcome, and our pool and beach and dolphin lagoon are very popular activities. Your feedback is appreciated, and my staff and I are looking forward to being of service to you again sometime soon. Aloha and best regards.

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Reviewed February 23, 2013 via mobile

Traveling alone with a child overseas can be a challenge. However, The Kahala is an excellent respite and a stress reliever.

We checked in to an Oceanfront room and quickly changed to a suite- some Ocean front rooms do not have a patio and we covet outdoor space.

We used 24hr room service which was prompt ordering things from Hoku's menu which was nice since my child fell asleep and I could not go out to dinner.

Breakfast buffet was lovely and has a wonderful assortment.

My suite had a view of coco head and diamond head- gorgeous!

Bathrooms need new tile and fixtures to compete with Four Seasons hotels.

Lobby lighting and glasswork is gorgeous but flooring needs to be updated. Not enough flowers in entry and checking area. Needs updating.

Some rooms are carpeted and attractive. Some need new wallpaper seaming.

Some rooms have excellent upgrades. Some do need refurbishing.

Beach is perfect for children.

Pool is rather small and needs upgrading- larger new tiles more depth- expanse.

Guests are a wonderful mix of International and Americans. The hotel has a fabulous history and patronage.

We will stay here again and again.

Thank you, Kahala!

  • Stayed: February 2013
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Thank TheNowVoyager
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 27, 2013

Thank you for taking the time to share your resort experience with us following your recent stay. There can be some challenges traveling with a youngster, and I was pleased to learn that my staff ensured that you both had an enjoyable and comfortable stay. All of your comments have been noted and I always appreciate receiving feedback from a guest. As far as the condition of your room is concerned, we do repair bathroom floors when chipped tile or another issue is reported. Our rooms were completely renovated in 2009 and are being continually refreshed such as the addition of new Tommy Bahama bath amenities and complimentary Wi-Fi Internet Service. Upgrades to public spaces are ongoing and recently included the total remodel of The Veranda lounge with new flooring, comfy Tommy Bahama Royal Kahala collection furnishings, as well as a new menu. As the hotel approaches its 50th anniversary, we strive to maintain and improve all areas for our guests including the refurbishment of Hoku's, lobby areas, and corridors. It was a pleasure having you with us, and we look forward to being of service to you again on many future occasions. Aloha and best regards.

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Reviewed February 21, 2013

I was in this property for a business meeting. However, considering it was Hawaii, I alway try to make time for the beach. The hotel is nice and comfortable. The room is big and the bed is perfect. The beach is nice, but the pool is small. They have a dolphin lagoon right beside the pool. I took a dip on the beach one afternoon, but noticed that as you go a few meters away from the beach towards the sea, the nice sand on your feet turns to mud. And this seems to go all the way out to the sea. Over-all the facilities are nice, the staff are friendly and helpful. But all of this comes with a price.

Room Tip: the higher the floor, the better
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank EdgarAntonio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
KahalaResort, General Manager at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, responded to this reviewResponded February 25, 2013

Thank you for staying with us during your recent trip to Honolulu. I was pleased to see that you had a pleasant stay and enjoyed our beach and the services provided by our employees. We always try to ensure a comfortable and memorable resort experience for our guests, and thank you for sending your feedback. We are looking forward to welcoming you back the next time you visit our beautiful island Aloha and best regards.

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Additional Information about The Kahala Hotel & Resort

Address: 5000 Kahala Ave., Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96816-5411
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Hawaii > Oahu > Honolulu
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Romantic Hotel in Honolulu
#3 Spa Hotel in Honolulu
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Luxury Hotel in Honolulu
#4 Business Hotel in Honolulu
#6 Family Hotel in Honolulu
Price Range: $393 - $797 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Kahala Hotel & Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 338
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Kahala Hotel & Resort is Hawaii's reigning luxury resort, set on a secluded beach just ten minutes from the world class shopping and entertainment of Waikiki. This legendary hideaway resort in Honolulu's plush Kahala district is a favorite with presidents, international royalty and celebrities. From the moment you arrive, you will know that you are truly somewhere special. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Kahala Hotel Honolulu
The Kahala Hotel And Resort
Kahala Resort Honolulu
Kahala Hotel Honolulu
Mandarin Oriental Oahu
Kahala Hotel & Resort
Kahala Mandarin Oriental
The Kahala Hotel & Resort Hawaii/Honolulu

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